Just because your family can’t have a dog doesn’t mean your child – or family – can’t show your love for dogs in other ways.
Kam Gottlieb, a 12-year-old from Wilmette, IL, loves dogs. But for now, allergies prevent her from having one. But her mom, Susan, would take Kam to the local shelter to visit with the dogs and bring donations. Three years ago, when Kam was just 9, she learned that many shelter pups just don’t get enough exercise. With so many dogs to care for and factors such as bad weather or behavioral issues, many shelters’ outdoor play areas don’t always cut it. Kam decided she wanted to help – by purchasing a doggie treadmill for her favorite shelter.
Treadmills aren’t cheap. Especially for a young girl. But this enterprising gal told Dogster.com, “I sold rubber bracelets that glow in the dark. That’s how I got most of my money.” Kam also threw backyard parties, asked her friends for donations and sold lemonade.
Nearly three years later, the now 12-year-old had enough money. She and her mom researched treadmills and landed on one – the dogPACER. She called up the company to place her order for the Humane Society of Southwest Michigan. “We were so surprised to get her call,” says David Ezra, dogPACER’s CEO. “When we heard her story, we were floored. We wanted to just give her the treadmill but also wanted to respect all of Kam’s hard work.” The company gave her a hefty discount, picked up shipping and even matched her donation. “We thought what she might like best would be to give treadmills to two organizations. She loved the idea!”
In December, Kam delivered the first of the treadmills to the Anti-Cruelty Society of Chicago. For her efforts Kam received the society’s first ever “Pals for Pets” award.
“It is children like Kam, who care so deeply for the animals, that are so important to The Anti-Cruelty Society and to our community,” said Dr. Robyn Barbiers, president of The Anti-Cruelty Society in Chicago,” tells the Wilmette Patch. “The treadmill will be used by our staff to help exercise the dogs in our care. Since we do not have time limits on how long an animal can stay with us, the treadmill will be very beneficial in keeping some of the long-term dogs happier and healthier while they wait for adoption.”
In January, Kam will gift the Humane Society of Southwest Michigan with the second dogPACER.
Kam plans to continue her fundraising this winter with a snowman building contest and hot chocolate sale.